- Pylon Hit!
Bolton is in the track, a little off the pace with 198kts through the Start Gate.
Looking ok, clean and tidy, but NO! It's a pylon hit at Gate 7!
Unless Brageot makes a major mistake out there, Bolton will be hard pushed to find a way into the Round of 8.
Wind conditions are 12kts from the west, a little blustery.
Le Vot maintaining his spot as fastest loser
Brageot is cleared into the track!
Entry speed way off the pace at 196kts, but Brageot doesn't have too much work to do with Bolton's penalty
The times are looking good, though he'll probably be saving his energy for the next rounds. It's just a case of keeping it tidy and clean and stay focused on this run.
Unsurprisingly it's greens across the board on the splits, and Brageot progresses comfortably with 54.865.
Brageot progresses to the Round of 8.
Next up: Murphy vs Velarde
Murphy has put in a great inaugural Master Class performance here in Abu Dhabi. He achieved his best time in Qualifying yesterday of 54.351
Murphy goes into the track in his first ever Master Class Round of 14!
He's through the Start Gate just over at 200kts, and looking for a fast, clean run. But it's an early setback as he picks up +2s at Gate for Over-G.
That's not the start at all that he wanted, he's putting in a good performance and he's not holding back, pushing hard through those gates and lingering on the G there...
Velarde now just has to keep his run clean, he's achieved a best time of 53.849 in training and 54.045 in Qualifying yesterday
So it sounds that Velarde is going to be flying aggressively, but the pressure is still off.
Through the start gate at 199kts, he's 1.611s faster than Murphy as he heads into Gate 6 which has caught many pilots out...
And unbelievably, Velarde picks up a penalty of +2s at Gate 6! That's REALLY putting the pressure on now!!!! Murphy is in with a chance to take this round...
The race is on as Velarde will have to fly cleanly and aggressively... the split timings are all in red and Velarde is behind Murphy... the ghost plane is ahead and Velarde has lost the heat!!!
Murphy progresses to the Round of 8. Le Vot retains his place as fastest loser. It's over for Velarde in Abu Dhabi.
Next up: McLeod vs Muroya
McLeod is focusing on going full throttle here in Abu Dhabi. He's managed a best time in free practice in the 53s but his Qualifying time was 55.176
He's through the Start Gate and into the track... Gate 3 brings a DNF for McLeod, it's all over for McLeod before he started as he's told to knock it off for Exceeding Maximum G.
McLeod looking so disappointed, no real chance to get his teeth into the racing today.
Muroya, reigning World Champion is cleared into the track...
Not much work for Muroya out there for this round, it's just about putting in a good solid performance and perfecting his lines for the next round.
It's solid, clean flying from the Japanese pilot, he's using this opportunity to its full potential and he's not holding back, 53.417 with some truly stylish flying. One of his fastest times all week!
It's Czech vs Czech in this round, as Kopfstein heads into the track to take on Sonka
Kopfstein has posted some impressive times so far this week, 53s in free practice and 54.9s in Qualifying. He'll need to post his fastest performance today though to take on a very disciplined, cool, calm and collected Sonka.
Looking good for Kopfstein but he's making some great manouevres out there as the clock shows 54.928s. That's about on par with his Qualifyig times, and Sonka HAS gone faster.
Sonka through the Start Gate at 198kts. He needs to be absolutely focused today to pull a win out of the bag in this heat. The splits look red in the first sector, but he's stalled a little at the top of that VTM and Kopfstein looks ahead but Sonka is pulling it back by just 0.001s!
The splits are in the green and Sonka is pulling ahead by a significant margin, 0.467s ahead of Kopfstein as he passes through the Finish Gate and grabs a 54.461 to progress through to the next heat.
Le Vot retaining his place as Fastest Loser.